Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Image of Merciful Jesus - Cracow Lagiewniki

in Cracow Lagiewniki

In 1943 – ten years after painting the first image of Merciful Jesus in Vilnius and five years after the death of Sister Faustina in Cracow - a fine painter Adolf Hy‎‎‎ła came to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow Łagiewniki. He desired to paint some image as a gift for the monastic chapel as a token of gratitude for saving his family from the war.
The sisters suggested painting the image of the Merciful Jesus. They presented to the artist a pattern – a replica of the first image painted by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski in co-operation with Sister Faustina. They also added its description from the DIARY of Saint Sister Faustina. Despite that, the artist completed the work according to his own idea. Because the size of the painting did not fit the altar in the sisters' chapel, Mother Irena Krzyżanowska ordered another painting. In 1944 the painting was blessed and placed in the monastic chapel in Cracow where it has been worshipped until the present day.

The sarcophagus with remains of Saint Sister Faustina Kowalska. The image of the Merciful Jesus
at the convent chapel of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow-Łagiewniki.

In this painting the Image of Merciful Jesus was presented by the artist with the background of meadow and, visible in the distance, bushes. After the intervention of Father Sopoćko in 1954, the background was painted over with a dark colour and a floor painted under the feet of the Lord Jesus.
The painting donated by Adolf Hy‎‎la as a token of gratitude was placed in the Heart of God parish church in Wrocł‎aw. This church is linked to the monastic house of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy (see footnotes of DIARY of Saint Sister Faustina).

After the end of the World War II (1939-1945), the first painting of the Merciful Jesus, painted by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski in co-operation with Sister Faustina in Vilnius, ended up in the territory of the USSR where, due to barbarous oppressions, thousands of people
for several decades had to keep their faith in God secret. The painting was also hidden, along with its extraordinary origin.

Publicizing the other image in Poland, perhaps providentially, steered attention away
from the miraculous "Holy Image" (as it was called in 1993 in Vilnius by Saint Pope John Paul II), as at that time there were no other, workable possibilities for saving the original image.
Also, numerous unprofessional conservations, applying layers of overpaint, hid for many years the artistic qualities of the art. A layer of paraffin wax was applied by one of the restorers. Although it served to a large extend as a protection against the effects of humidity, in time it caused in the shades of the original colours to change.
After a thorough conservation in 2003 and removing all overpaints, the painting regained the clarity of its message. The subtle figure of the Merciful Savior appearing in the dark space, directs the attention of prayerful people to the light of the rays of mercy emanating from His Heart opened at the cross.
"These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross" (Diary, 299).
"I saw two rays coming out from the Host, as in the image,
closely united but not intermingled..." (Diary, 344).
The image painted in St Faustina’s presence (Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, Vilnius 1934).
The image painted after St Faustina’s death (Adolf Hyla, Cracow, 1944).

"My gaze from this image is like My gaze from the cross" (Diary, 326).

Without a doubt, the image painted by Adolf Hyła contributed to a great extent to the growth of the Divine Mercy devotion. This is confirmed by testimonials of the graces received through Its intercession. But its popularity did not detract from the value of the original image painted in Vilnius – precisely according to the guidelines given by Lord Jesus. This image finally reached a time when it could be worthily exposed at the high altar of the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Vilnius where, surrounded by the prayers of the Sisters and visiting pilgrims, it has been worshipped publically ever since. (see Image)

"Today I saw the glory of God which flows from the image. Many souls are receiving graces, although they do not speak of it openly. Even though it has met up with all sorts of vicissitudes, God is receiving glory because of it; and the efforts of Satan and of evil men are shattered and come to naught. In spite of Satan’s anger, the Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshiped by all souls" (Diary, 1789).
"Today, I saw two enormous pillars implanted in the ground; I had implanted one of them, and a certain person, S. M. (Sopocko M.), the other. (...). These two pillars were close to each other, in the area of the image. And I saw the image, raised up very high and hanging from these two pillars. In an instant, upon these two pillars, supported both from inside and outside, there stood a large temple. I saw a hand finishing the temple, but I did not see the person. There was a great multitude of people, inside and outside the temple, and the torrents issuing from the Compassionate Heart of Jesus were flowing down upon everyone" (Diary, 1689)

“When I received the article about Divine Mercy with the image [on the cover], Gpd’s presence filled me in an extraordinary way. When I steeped myself in prayer of thanksgiving, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus in a great brightness, just as He is painted, and at His feet I saw Father Andrasz and Father Sopocko. Both were holding pens in their hands, and flashes of light an fire, like lightning, were coming from the tips of their pens and striking a great crowd of people who were hurrying I know not where. Whoever was touched by the ray of light immediately turned his back on the crowd and held out his hands to Jesus. Some returned with great joy, others with great pain and compunction” (Diary, 675).

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